One of the all-time tennis greats says Roger Federer is right alongside sporting legends Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan and Pele.

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35-year-old Federer is off to a red-hot 19-1 start in 2017 on the back of Australian Open, Indian Wells and Miami Open titles.

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He has won 11 consecutive matches as he now pauses to consider how much he will play in the clay season.

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For German great Boris Becker, Federer's resurgence signals a return to the 'golden era' of tennis.

"Everybody starts the year fresh, at zero. You need the first two tournaments to get your confidence back and your feeling for the court," Becker told The Sun.

"In Roger's case he is full of it, while Andy and Novak haven't yet delivered this year. It's much easier to play tennis when you are full of confidence.

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"And I wouldn't completely write off the man from Spain, Rafa. He also had a fantastic beginning of the year and his time is coming now.

"We are back to the golden era of the Big Four competing against each other, the comeback of the Big Four."

And according to Becker, Federer deserves to be in the same conversation as the all-time legends of sport.

"I would compare Federer with the likes of Pele, Michael Jordan and Muhammad Ali. He has transcended to a different level," Becker said.

Pele, Ali and Jordan. Image: Getty

"He does something that was called impossible. He attracts millions of new fans who understand what it feels like to get older.

"He changes the clock. He plays like a 25 year old and looks like a 25 year old, but in his passport it says 35. It's a beautiful thing.

Federer recently admitted he might skip the French Open altogether, and Becker reckons that might be a wise move.

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"I'm actually doubtful he will play the French. I think he is going to make up his mind very late. Clay is physically very very demanding and it was never his best surface anyway.

"He has put himself in the perfect position for grass and for Wimbledon, so why should he jeopardise that?"

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